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Last updated on 2nd Mar 2018
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Official iDEAL site : iDeal (in English)
Although paying online has never been as easy as it is now, there are some hassles associated with paying with credit and debit cards. For example, they come with a variety of fees and it’s also impractical to carry them around just in case you’ll need to make an online payment. However, what other options are there if you don’t want to make any special accounts? Bank transfers, of course, but those take so much time that you’ll get the purchased goods or services much later than you originally wanted to.
Enter iDEAL, the service that’s promising to modernize regular bank transfers by making them instantaneous, thus removing what most think is their biggest downside. How does it work and how easy is it to use iDEAL? Read on to find out.
iDEAL is an e-commerce payment system that was introduced in the year of 2005 and that was originally intended to be used only in the Netherlands. However, it quickly expanded well beyond the borders of that country and is now accepted by e-shops in more than 50 countries. Simultaneously, iDEAL also managed to strike deals with additional banks.
Interestingly, iDEAL is currently the most popular online payment method in the Netherlands, even surpassing online credit card payments. In 2013 alone, iDEAL processed more than 142 million transactions.
How It Works
When paying with iDEAL, you’ll be using the very same online banking that you’re using for direct bank transfers – and the entire payment process is naturally very simple. Once you select iDEAL as the preferred payment method, you’ll be forwarded to the online banking of your bank. Then, you will simply enter your login details.
After that, you’ll have to authorize the payment just as you would normally do. Yes, that’s right – all the necessary payment details are automatically pre-entered, so you’ll never have to worry about entering the right bank account numbers (and we all know how bothersome filling all those boxes can be).
Both sides of the transaction get their payment confirmation right after you authorize the payment, so the delivery of the goods or services you order can start straight away. There will simply be no artificial delays for you to deal with – you’ll be able to use your funds right after you deposit them at your favourite online casino or bookmaker, for example.
iDEAL isn’t an online wallet, so it doesn’t offer any additional features that you could take advantage of – its beauty lies in its simplicity.
However, you’ll probably want to know how much this sweet deal costs. Well, we’ve got some good news for you in that case – iDEAL won’t charge you any additional fees for paying through it. Merchants might, however, so that’s something that you should always check beforehand.
You should also know that you’ll never have to make any special accounts in order to pay with iDEAL. No login details and passwords to remember – can it possibly even get any better than this?
Apart from all that, we are also obliged to mention that iDEAL works on all mobile devices, as all you need to use it is an internet connection and a web browser. You can also use iDEAL in the form of a mobile app, but this option can be only be used in connection with certain banks.
Privacy and Security
We’re living in an age in which privacy and security seem to be oft-debated issues, so how does iDEAL perform on these two fronts? Well, just as you would expect it to. As it only facilitates bank transfers, you can’t really expect it to anonymize your payments or to keep them away from your bank statements.
As far as security is concerned, the service is pretty much as secure as the online banking of the supported banks. What does that mean? Well, given which banks were supported at the time of writing, we’d say that you’ve got absolutely nothing to be worried about when paying with iDEAL.
The biggest problem that we can mention in connection to iDEAL is its availability. Although the service has expanded considerably in the last couple of years, it’s still a virtually unknown quantity outside Europe. Of course, this also means that the number of online casinos and bookmakers that accept iDEAL is rather limited.
It’s also worth noting that iDEAL has always been intended as a system that customers can use to pay online, so you’ll have to use a different payment method for withdrawals. That shouldn’t be a big hassle, however – after all, you can always request a withdrawal to the bank account you used to pay with iDEAL.
Finally, you should know that iDEAL payments aren’t treated in the same way as the purchases that you make with your credit or debit cards, which naturally means that you’ll have to miss out on all the different promotional offers that are being offered in connection with such cards. Moreover, iDEAL payments cannot be reversed as easily as credit card payments, so you typically won’t be able to get an easy refund in case something goes wrong. Your regular customer rights will still apply, however, so this shouldn’t be seen as a big problem in our opinion.
All in all, iDEAL is a very useful service for those who have accounts at the supported banks. In fact, one would be hard-pressed to find any serious flaws in what it does. There are similar services that offer the very same deal, but, unlike many of them, iDEAL is officially supported by the involved banks, which means that there’s nothing to be worried about as far as its trustworthiness is concerned.
So, if instantaneous bank transfers are what you’re looking for, you should definitely check what iDEAL is all about – it could easily become your number one choice for all online payments. However, you’ll probably also need to use a couple of other payment methods in order to get full access to all the online casinos and sportsbooks that you want to use.